I enjoyed Poisoned Waters by Ermisenda Alvarez, but only after I’d got beyond the first few chapters. I have a pet hate about too many characters being introduced too quickly and the number here was borderline on what I felt worked. However, as the novel progressed the character development was very good and the storyline carried me along effortlessly.
Without giving too much away, some of the characters who appear endearing at first, we later discover to have less than attractive personalities – but that shift in perspective works well in this genre.
The storyline takes place on a cruise in the 1950s and the author evokes the time and setting very well. The prevailing attitudes and prejudices add to the feeling that this isn’t just a story, but could actually have taken place. However, being a murder mystery, the important aspect is the plot and this, too, is well worked and deftly presented. The suspense is maintained throughout, with plenty of twists and turns and, of course, many suspects with both motive and opportunity.
To sum up – this is a fast-paced read with plenty of genuine clues, lots of red herrings, various subplots, an intriguing cast of characters and the final chapters make sure all the ends are neatly tied up. What more could you ask?